Weekend Lover
Junior Keating
Roots Records
August 12, 2012

Weekend Lover - Junior Keating Track list
  1. Long Long Time
  2. Conquering Lion
  3. Jah Wrote Me A Letter
  4. Weekend Lover
  5. Watch What You Do
  6. Baby Please Be True
  7. Hang Up The Telephone
  8. Something Is Bugging Me
  9. Coming Of A Storm/Version
  10. Money Man Skank
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
There are countless crucial Roots records that barely saw the light of day and then just "fade away". Classics like Reggae George's "Mix Up" and Alton Ellis "Set A Better Example" are prime examples. An utterly powerful and unknown artist, Junior Keating put out a record called "Weekend Lover" in 1980 that has been handsomely reissued by U.K's Roots Records. An amazing piece of work!

Junior Keating (Roy George Keating) is a mysterious character. Aside from recording this masterclass and a couple of singles, nothing else has been heard from him. Research has turned up nothing of his whereabouts. The bottom line is that "Weekend Lover" has all the ingredients of timeless hi-grade Roots; just as Reggae was transitioning into early Dancehall as the 70's became the 80's.

"Weekend Lover" was produced by Jah "Nkrumah" Thomas, the wicked DJ turned producer who emerged in the mid 70's. Many a hit came from his Midnight Rock productions; Anthony Johnson's "Gunshot", Triston Palma's "Entertainment" and the producer's mighty "Dance Pon The Corner". He helped to define the careers of the late Early B, Barry Brown and Toyan to name a few. The riddim tracks were laid at Channel One by the 'raw' Roots Radics, who were shaping their sound from The Revolutionaries into their signature stylee. These top ranking tracks are wicked to the bone courtesy of Flabba Holt on bass and Bingy Bunny on gits. At this time, keys are expertly handled by Winston Wright (R.I.P), piano by Gladdy Anderson and of course Style "Radigan" Scott on drums. A tight horn section is comprised of Headly Bennett and Bobby Ellis; rounded out with Sky Juice on percussion. This lineup was not permanent but the riddims they put down for this album are the rawest and rootiest this reviewer has heard inna long time! Vocals were done at King Tubbys; handled by a very young Scientist (Hopeton Brown). At this time, King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock) was busy upgrading his legendary facilities, so his apprentice became man at the controls--amazing style.

Jah Thomas introduces us to the album; giving way to Long Long Time. A beautiful love song riding a riddim that can be found on Barrington Levy's "Robin Hood" with a bubbling organ and wailing guitar that complements Junior Keating's seemingly velvet smooth delivery. Is this fe real? Conquering Lion is strictly lion tune with a rock solid riddim and incredible mixing. This is real! Jah Wrote Me A Letter has Jacob Miller influences; it's an obscure tune that will leave you breathless. Bingy Bunny's trademark riddim guitar licks are really phat here. The title track is strictly Rockers that talks about spiteful love without a note or lyric out of place--dynamite. Watch What You Do is a percussion and organ highlighted track that showed up on some compilation albums; this song shows the absolute genius of the singer that is intoxicating! The standout track is Baby Please Be True; it is a sure example of how the music was changing into early, early Dancehall. Hang Up The Telephone boasts one of the hardest riddims possible, led by Gladdy's tinkling the ivories. Something Is Bugging Me is an engaging song about the perils of cheating on love. Coming Of A Storm and it's version serves as an insight of how Scientist was turning into the master engineer that he is today, Wicked Iya!!!! The final track, Money Man Skank shows Jah Thomas at his best; he can chat with the best.

"Weekend Lover" is a definitive chapter in Reggae Musik that initially got left behind. This is the singer's first effort and he comes off like a legend. The production and artwork stands out big time. Why this Roots classic faded away is a question. We are blessed to have this remastered work again and it is urgent that you get a copy for your collection. The demand for this reissue is Sky High so embrace any opportunity! On a final note, this album was initially edited by Bullwackies and one of Tad's Records first publishings. Two more reasons to check it!!!!!